Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Home > CHAH > ABLO

ARCHIVE DOCUMENT - note the position of ABLO no longer exists - the last ABLO was 2008-09




These guidelines and selection criteria should assist those preparing applications for the position of Australian Botanical Liaison Officer (ABLO) at Kew. They indicate the procedures followed by: the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) in advertising the position; the Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria (CHAH) in assessing nominations; and the Australian Biological Resources Study Advisory Committee (ABRSAC) in recommending Ministerial approval of the appointment.

Each ABLO is appointed for a period of up to twelve months. Until recently, the normal term of office has been twelve months and the ABLO has taken up the position in August or September, with a brief period of overlap between the incoming and outgoing ABLOs. Applications will now be considered for periods of between three and twelve months. Formal applications to ABRS for each posting are required by 1st September each year (two years ahead).

Accommodation is not provided, and must be budgeted for. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, provide bench space; computer network access; certain mail, fax and phone facilities; and access to specimens. ABLO appointees must bring a portable computer for their term.

The Commonwealth has previously provided a monetary contribution to assist the ABLO with travel and living costs, while the ABLO's own employing institution provides his or her salary. The Commonwealth contribution is derived from funding allocated to the ABRS Participatory Program. A decision on the extent of the Commonwealth contribution, if any, for 2004-05 will be made at the April 2003 meeting of the ABRS Advisory Committee. In any year when more than one ABLO is appointed, or when the ABLO serves for a period of less than twelve months, the Commonwealth contribution will be dispersed on a pro-rata basis.

Guidelines for ABLO Application and Nomination

1. Each year, ABRS calls for nominations for the ABLO position. In any given year, the call for nominations relates to an appointment that will commence in two years' time. The call is made through three mechanisms:

(1) in a newspaper advertisement in February, as part of the ABRS Participatory Program Call for Applications;
(2) in Biologue (the ABRS annual newsletter), which is published in February; and
(3) through letters written to major botanical institutions in mid-year.

2. The formal nomination (together with the application) must be received by ABRS by 1 September.

3. Late nominations will not be accepted. If no suitable nominations are received, however, a further call for nominations will be made.

4. Nominations are forwarded by ABRS to the Chair of CHAH by 15 September.

5. The above schedule assumes that CHAH will meet in October. In those years when this does not occur (e.g. for meetings in Darwin), an alternative schedule will be prepared.

6. CHAH considers the nominations against the Selection Criteria and makes a recommendation for the ABLO appointment. The recommendation is forwarded to the Secretary of the ABRS Advisory Committee.

7. The ABRS Advisory Committee considers the CHAH recommendation at its next meeting and then makes a recommendation to the Commonwealth Minister responsible for ABRS.

8. The Minister's decision is normally available by the beginning of the year in which the ABLO is to assume duty at Kew.

Selection Criteria

Applicants should provide evidence of:

1. experience in resolving taxonomic and nomenclatural problems,

2. familiarity with taxonomic literature,

3. experience in herbarium procedures,

4. demonstrated taxonomic research ability,

5. current and proposed research programs, including research planned for the term as ABLO, and

6. an ability to communicate effectively with other botanists and the public.

Profile, duties and tasks

Agreed Profile, duties and tasks for the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer, 2003.

Notes for Applicant

* The nomination should be accompanied by the formal application addressing the Selection Criteria and supported by a curriculum vitae and a list of publications.

* It is important to elaborate on both your current research program, and the research program you propose to undertake during the term as ABLO.

* An application is made by a person wishing to be considered for appointment as ABLO. A nomination is made by the head of the applicant's employing organisation in support of the application. Both must be forwarded to ABRS, GPO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601, by 1 September for consideration by CHAH.

Notes for Assessment Panel

* In cases where nominees are assessed as being of equal merit, consideration will be given to fair geographic representation of ABLOs throughout Australia.

* Previous holders of the ABLO position are not excluded from applying for a subsequent term, but they may be given lower priority than a nominee who has not previously held the position.